May 3, 2009
Somebody abducted the balls-to-the-wall Rock~N~Roll band I saw last week and replaced them with a bunch of Jazz Musicians! By that, I mean tonight was a Jazzy Bluesfest. I mean EVERY song. Reading the setlist does not do this show justice. It must be listened to. The 1st set was seamless from PLAYIN' to PLAYIN'. The lyrcs to old favorites like 1/2-Step & SPEEDWAY BOOGIE were laid down to some incredibly energized Jazz. Branford must have really inspired the boys while in NJ. Warren's guitar mastery on HARD TO HANDLE laid all other versions to rest. Pig himself woulda been proud. As much as i love the new F.O.D., with Phil singing Hunter's original lyrics, tonight had me missing the old lullaby that Father Garcia used to sing for us.
I expected Alligator to show up at Izod last week, Surprise! The only thing missing from Madison Square Garden turned up at The Spectrum. If I got teary-eyed at Albany during COMES A TIME, tonight's rendition had water streaming down my face. Again, words cannot describe the finesse with which this song was sculpted. The reader must have a listen. Bob Weir executed a perfect SUGARMAG --> SSDD that had the crowd bopping in unison. Oh, The Crowd... Did I mention tonight was The Dead's 53rd consecutive sell out at The Spectrum! Philly loves their Dead. Box of Rain was another beautiful version of a classic favorite. Phil's voice truly shined tonight.
After the concert, I was fortunate enough to find North Star Bar, a little dive in the neighborhood. 6 or 7 young men were performing Reggae / Hip-Hop with an old fat man on bass. Wait could it be, yes... That's ROB WASSERMAN! Later, Wasserman's daughter (or wife?), Sara would take the stage as well as one of Wasserman's former band-mates: BOB WEIR! Yup, about 100 of us packed in this little joint to see Weir & Wasserman sit in with a Hip-Hop band named Band Of Brothers. Lemmee tell ya, these guys are right on!
PEACE & LOVE ~M*rsh